Montreal’s annual golf tournament for their charitable foundation was held on
Tuesday with the coaches, management, and all but two players present even
though training camp doesn’t start for another week and a half. As always,
there were lots of news snippets and notable quotes from the media availability,
here are some of the highlights including updates on the injury situation, P.K.
Subban’s contract, and whether or not Michel Therrien envisions a bigger role
for the youngsters up front.
As we all knew already, the club reiterated Tuesday that defenceman Alexei
Emelin will not be ready for the start of the season as a result of his knee
injury sustained last season. Although there is no definite timetable for
his return, Marc Bergevin noted that he likely will not be available until after
November. Emelin isn’t the only one who may not be good to go for opening
night either. Captain Brian Gionta’s situation is uncertain after
suffering a bicep tear during the postseason. He hasn’t yet spoken with
team doctors to determine if he’ll be ready to go at the beginning of camp.
Gionta did note that rehab this time around went smoother and that he’s aiming
to be ready for Game 1. Bergevin also stated that George Parros, acquired
during the offseason, could also miss the beginning of the year due to a rotator
cuff injury from last season but that they believe he should be ready by then.
Owner Geoff Molson told reporters that P.K. Subban’s next contract is a
priority for Bergevin. The Norris Trophy winner has one year left on his
contract with a cap hit of $2.875 million and a salary of $3.75 million, which
will be his qualifying offer next summer. The Habs’ GM noted that he’s
open to discussing an extension during the season (as he did with David
Desharnais, Francis Bouillon, and Peter Budaj last year) but that he wouldn’t be
further commenting publicly on any discussions. When asked about his
contract, Subban was also saying very little, stating that he preferred to talk
about the team rather than his own situation.
With Desharnais joining Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller as incumbents in the
top three spots at centre, there doesn’t appear to be a spot for either Alex
Galchenyuk or newly signed Daniel Briere to play their natural positions.
Briere told the media that although his preference is to play centre, he has no
issues with playing the wing as he did at times with the Flyers last year.
When asked about Galchenyuk, head coach Michel Therrien said "time will tell
when he’s ready to play centre." The bench boss also noted that he
believes the 3rd overall pick from 2012 will be ready to take on more
responsibilities this upcoming season.
– Goaltender Carey Price noted that he has yet to practice with the new
smaller pads he’ll have to wear this upcoming season.
– Bergevin noted that recently signed defenceman Douglas Murray is viewed as a
top six defender but that a lot of his success will be dependent on who he plays
with. The GM didn’t disclose who his partner may be.
– Murray, a left defenceman who has played that side throughout his career, is
open to the idea of playing on the right side if need be. The Habs have
just two right-shooting defencemen on the roster, Subban and Raphael Diaz.
– On top of providing Galchenyuk with a larger workload, Therrien said the same
would be the case for the other sophomore up front, Brendan Gallagher.
– Plekanec and Davis Drewiske were both absent from the tournament for family reasons.
– Diaz, Emelin, and Andrei Markov were all in attendance but did not participate in the actual golfing part of the event.